Our founding fathers knew that an educated public was necessary to protect and preserve our republic. Therefore, they passed the Old Deluder Satan Law in 1647 which required towns to provide a school where reading, writing, and the Bible would be taught. Since then, progressive educational policy makers have been undermining that early view of our republic.
Preserving our republic is still possible if the root of the problem is understood, if energies are focused, and if reformers are determined to eradicate the cause. To date, the approach to educational reform has been like that of a neighbor whose yard is a bed of dandelions. He picks the flower heads and leaves the roots to grow deeper and stronger to produce multiple flowers next week. The root of the problem facing education has grown thick as a sequoia tree.
The Department of Education disseminates federal educational funds to the states to make sure the mandates which follow those funds are properly implemented. Common Core Standards are federally mandated standards which define what is to be taught in each subject in every classroom across the United States.
According to the Aspen Institute’s “A New Civic Literacy: American Education and Global Interdependence,” increased federal control of education is essential to provide policy experts unfettered access to school curricula and to programs for teacher preparation. According to the proposal, this move is vital to “enhance the capacity of Americans to cope with interdependence,” a phrase meaning a one-world order. These policies are focused on changing the values and traditions of the American public—not on improving the academic achievement of America’s students.
Hundreds of federal policies and policy papers by educational experts indicate that once the Federal government gains sufficient control of schools, the next step is to increase UN involvement and to change the way schools are funded. Once the states no longer fund the educational system, citizens will have no more control over education than they do over their retirement or their health care.
When the federal government decides that homeschooling curricula does not enhance the capacity of Americans to cope with global interdependence or a global economy, what will happen to homeschooling?
Those who have focused on charter schools as the solution seem unaware of ways the program is being exploited to create a federal crisis that will eventually result in the elimination of all charter schools. Albert Shanker, President of the American Federation of Teachers, encouraged establishment of charter schools in 1988. Created in Minnesota in 1991, charter schools were originally intended to be privately funded and free from state laws and regulations.
When private funding was not available, federal and state tax dollars provided this educational option. Providing federal dollars without state laws has resulted in an exploitation of charter schools. Foreign money has created Islamic charter schools, and groups like LaRaza have created schools which advocate a return of portions of the United States to Mexico. Once those schools are in place, private money typically dries up and is replaced by state and federal tax money which funds these anti-American schools.
Corruption, fraud, and embezzlement run rampant in the charter-school system. Whenever progressives embrace an idea, one must wonder why. Are these people looking forward to the day that tax payers will be made aware of these problems, a crisis will be created, and tax payers will rebel against the misuse of their tax dollars by charter-school programs? If so, what will Federal Governmental Policy become regarding charter schools?
A website called “Charter School Scandals” is a quick resource for research in this area. The Advocates for Academic Freedom website blog page has numerous articles that provide in-depth coverage of all issues presented in this article.
The only effective solution to the problems facing education today is to eradicate the source: the federal funding and federal mandates imposed on the educational system. If we want to protect our right to choose an educational setting for our children, if we want to protect our republic, we must commit to a long, difficult battle.
Progressives have never relented nor must we. Our mantra should be: Remove the federal mandates and federal funding from education and reallocate those funds to the states.